Book By: Florence A Hammrick, Corey B. Rumann and Associates
Review By: Arian Adducchio
Sinclair Community College
In the tumultuous times we live in, military students and veterans are coming to college campuses nation-wide in ever increasing numbers. It is crucial for those working directly with these students to have a good understanding of not only what they have gone through, but also what their specific needs are once they come to college (p. xi). Unless personally involved with the military, it is impossible to know the depth of experience and rigor for which these students have trained. In the comprehensive book Called to Serve: A Handbook on Student Veterans and Higher Education, Florence A. Hamrick, Corey B. Rumann and Associates have compiled valuable information in an effort to fill this void of knowledge and resources. As stated, “The purpose of this handbook is to highlight research, programmatic efforts, and recommendations of serving student veterans that will assist college and university administrators, faculty members, and student affairs professionals in helping contemporary student veterans and service members succeed” (p. xii). In order to best serve this population of students, higher education professionals, including advisors, need resources that are both informative and explanatory.
This book is divided into twelve chapters covering a broad range of helpful topics regarding the military to college transition and recommendations for systematic implementations to allow for more effective interactions with these students. Starting with historical background on the GI Bill, the book offers insights to the students’ experience transitioning from the military life to the world of academia. Once at the institution, students need to proceed with enrollment, certification for their funding, academic advising, and perhaps the most complex: acclimating themselves to the role of the ‘student.’ Each chapter is separated by a short vignette exemplifying the topic of the chapter prior, providing valuable perspectives from faculty, staff and service members. Because each chapter has a different author or collaborator, the reader is provided with various perspectives and a comprehensive assessment of: “…service members’ and veterans’ experiences and circumstances; college and university programs for veterans and service members; relevant social, political and financial contexts surrounding contemporary veterans and service members; and higher education assessment and evaluation models and strategies” (p. xiv). The only criticism of this handbook is the redundancy in content from chapter to chapter. While not affecting readability, cover to cover is entirely possible, it is clear this handbook is meant to be used a reference for case by case situations and specific departments.
Perhaps one of the most important and valuable resources this handbook provides is the vast supply of references and referrals for further learning and application. With the final chapters listing not only the necessity for administrative and institutional implementation and leadership, the authors provide a case study examining the realities and difficulties involved with policy operation. Accommodatingly, each chapter ends with a comprehensive list of website links, extensive bibliographies, and organization contacts for those interested in further research. This book is an excellent resource for those higher education professionals working with these students, those wanting to gain insights to their perspectives, and most importantly, those wanting to enact change. Academic Advisors are uniquely situated to help these students from a multitude of angles when given the right knowledge and resources. This book is a valuable source at a poignant time when the dire need for structure and advocates for these students continues to grow.
Called to Serve: A Handbook on Student Veterans and Higher Education.
(2012). Book by Florence A Hammrick, Corey B. Rumann and Associates. Review by Arian Adducchio
. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 368pp. $45.00 (Hardback). ISBN #978-1-118-17676-4